• brain
  • psyche
  • attachment
  • connection
  • relationship
  • boundaries

Humans NEED connection.


Podcast Episode 7: Conversation with Dr. Sue Johnson

Episode 7_ Conversation with Dr. Sue.mp3

  • emotions drive drama
  • One of the most important things in modern life (if not the most important thing) is relationships.
  • we cannot ignore the emotion.  The emotion is a sign to us.  The emotion is telling us something.  The emotion is a road sign.  Says STOP or GO or turn left or right or go straight.
    • When we learn how to share emotions with our partner we connect on a different level
    • Learn how to walk around emotions and name them
    • Emotions are pushing and poking partner
      • can be signs of loneliness, scared, afraid they are no one to anyone
  • Terrorize with
    • treats of rejection, threats of distance
    • moving away, shutting down, numbing out, when this happens you are stuck.


  1. go into moments of disconnection (drama)
  2. work together to get couple back into balance – name emotions, identify root of emotions resulting in couple turning towards each other again
  3. Creating bonding moments.  This develops trust.  This writes a new story.  The disconnection is always there it is always in the past. History will never change.  But this process is writing a new story.  Instead of the old story being “remember the time you hurt me” it becomes ” remember the time I was suffering and we worked together through that situation, you listened, you helped me through”.

Rewire brain with intentional ways of bonding.  Neuroplasticity.  We can remold our brains through our intentional experiences.   Trauma healed through relational context.

Our past experiences (trauma or good things) scribe grooves into our brains.  In times of stress our emotional responses default into the old grooves gouged into our brains.  We see situations through our lens of past experience.  We can basically expect our spouse to revert or fall back into the groves of past experience by default when under stress and respond accordingly.

Trauma healed through relationships.    New way to establish points of contact, way to heal severed relationships/bonds that creates loneliness and helplessness.  Loneliness and helplessness are which are the core elements of depression and anxiety and despair and unrest in relationships. (couples, kids, family, community, city, country, continent, world)

What we need to heal is to re-establish bonds and relationships…  Rock solid bonds, relationships, trust.  There is power in knowing:

  • faith in others
  • someone has your back
  • you are precious to someone
  • there is someone you can turn to when faced with danger and trauma
  • there is someone there when you are overwhelmed

This need/longing is deeply rooted in our bones.

Relational love is an ancient wired in survival code.

Couples grow each other…

What is the power of naming feelings and articulating them.

Emotions MOVE us.  Emotions are a motivating force…

emotion (n.) Look up emotion at Dictionary.com1570s, “a (social) moving, stirring, agitation,” from Middle French émotion (16c.), from Old French emouvoir “stir up” (12c.), from Latin emovere “move out, remove, agitate,”

My top defense strategy that I use when experiencing negative emotions is 1) Shut down / Numbifying  (FROZEN – do nothing) and 2) Intellectualizing, Logicaffying (blocking emotions) and looking at situations purely by logic.   I do this to avoid vulnerable feelings.

I need to put it together, get ability to look at emotions, give them a name, put them in order, make sense of it.  I want to be the best. I want/expect you to tell everyone I am the best.   Need to say “I am scared that I am going to hear you say:”

  • I can’t please you
  • not good enough for you
  • not good enough for kids
  • not the best husband
  • not the best father
  • you don’t trust me
  • you don’t love me
  • you will leave me
  • I don’t provide enough
  • I am too fat
  • I am too dumb (gardening, taking care of the house, fixing things)
  • you want someone else
  • I disappoint you (with house, car, hobbies, fitness)

I spend my whole life waiting for that message, and I interpret you are saying it by your emotions and the things you say.  Based on past experience I have a reason to be scared.  If my wife was perfect she would never do any of the above.  She would never reject me.   This is where I live, in fear.

When I look at your face I see disappointment, contempt and discuss.

I can’t come close to you because I spend my whole life waiting for your rejection.

What I need from you is:

  • reassurance

I don’t want to be afraid all the time. I need your acceptance.  I need to know that you love me.  When we get stuck in arguments I need you to hear me and give me space. I need you to help me turn back to you because I do want to be close (loved, affirmed, trust, know you have my back, build me up).  I am just someone who has a place in me that is scared of rejection.  (everyone is scared of rejection)   I want your help with it.

Fight, fright, freeze, collapse (chemicals in brain)   vs. tend and befriend.

Response to fear on an animal level… makes it difficult to make a good decision taken from rational logic to respond to the situation.   (Think, plan, come up with actions that will integrate and create harmony.

The ability to appropriately identify and balance emotion and logic.  The emotion is a message (road sign) and it must be heeded (considered) and at the same time some distance from it we need to access rational logic to think, plan and come up with actions that will integrate and create harmony.   Integration and harmony cannot be achieved ONLY  by logic or ONLY by emotion.

Need to get to a place where:

  • I can articulate what I am feeling
  • take responsability for feelings
  • express a need
  • be vulnerable about it (re: knowing I am not entiled to it and maybe I feel I am not entitled to expect it)
  • NOT feel entitiled to it being met but…
    • but feeling touched that if it is met what a awesome gift from my partner that it is met.


What I need from you is….

With my kids… I need to teach them:

  • be emotionally responsive to kids.
  • teach kids they live in a world where people will come when he calls
  • he is precious
  • he is special
  • the world is understandable
  • emotions are something he can manage
  • inner emotions are ok

Human beings are social bonding animals.  We are not designed to stand alone.  Denying vulnerability and our need for others is a weakness not a strength.

The more secure you are the more confident you are:

  • more healthy
  • more confident
  • more assertive
  • more able to face risk and challenge
  • deal with trauma better
  • if you do meet a dragon on the road (meet trauma) you are more able to deal with it

9/11 what did everyone do?  They called their loved one.

  • source of strength for people is relationship
  • when something scary happens the first thing we do is relationship.
  • Even when spouse is not around we talk to them…  Self talk relationship.. example fear of flight
    • Listen to husbands voice in head
    • Trusts that voice
    • It’s ok
    • your not in danger
    • you will go up in air and talk about hings that matter
    • you will come down and go home with spouse.

CO-REGULATION of emotions works much better than self regulation.

Best thing to do is to understand it is a huge risk for people who have been very traumatized and violated.  Just stay there and support them and help them order and support them identify emotions.  Repeat back the emotions that you hear from them.

I miss it. I missed the cue. Cannot respond with  “see I know that was true”, “I cannot solve that problem”, “you are right you do repulse me” I cannot try to fix it.  That is not going to build the relationship.  That breaks it.  The point is to build the relationship with empathy.

When in sadness, anger, and fear…. can you just stay here, stay connected, not try to solve it, work with me and my emotions, know that the emotions are not bottomless, the man just being there IS the solution providing warmth, pressense, confidence that she is NOT alone, trust that there will be no judgement.  Men just dance.  It is about attunement, listen to the music (wife), feel the cues she is sending, be present, move with them.   Dont go off in your head and solve the problem, or come up with different senarios in your head.

My most common emotional list Emotions

  • Better (as in “I feel better” or “I am feeling better now”)
  • Bad
    • Guilty
    • Sorry
    • Sick
    • Sad
    • Ashamed
    • Worried/Fear/afraid
    • Stressed
    • Frustrated
    • Annoyed/exasperated
    • Overwhelmed
  • Good
    • Relaxed
    • Well
    • Comfortable
    • Happy
    • Content
    • excited – looking forward to somthing / anticipate










Trust and Faith


  • Trust – allows us to make the assumption that things will go right.
  • Trust is the fundamental gel in every single human relationship.
  • Without trust NO relationship can flourish.
  • Trust means the pilot will get you home safely.
  • Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing.  You cannot have faith in God if you do not trust God.   Without trust NO relationship with God will flourish.
  • Do I trust (have faith) that God will get me home safely?

I wrote this while listening to  Twenty One Pilots – Heavydirtysoul – nice combo.

Do I know/believe/trust this is true?  Do I have FAITH?  Do I have a relationship with God?

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Psalm 46:10

10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”


Isaiah 55:8-9

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

God’s power is at work within us to glorify Him.  Blessed is… Best equipped to glorify God is…


  • Without trust everything breaks down.
  • Trust is a FEELING – distinctly human experience.  Feelings are not based on fact.  Faith is not based on fact.  That is why it is faith.  What do I trust in?


Proverbs 3:5-6  – my own understanding leading me down my own path or God’s path that was planned out for me before time?

Psalm 46:10 – Be still and know that I am God? (self glorification of me?  Or be still and know that God is God.

Ephesians 3:20-21 –   To I trust and rely on what I can imagine?  Or do I trust in “him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think”   Do I rely on the “power of mr” or do I rely on the “power of HIM who is at work within us”…. My power? or Infinite Godly wisdom and power… hmmm  if the bible verses are not enough… look back at my own past life and the past descision I have made and what has been the result of the ones where I relied on my own wisdom?  How has that worked out?  How good are my relationships?  Did they flourish?  

  • Without trust NO relationship can flourish.



We cannot just look at the world. We also must look at the lens through which we see the world.

Am I holding onto a perspective that is holding me back from the best possible life?   I need to look at my lens.

Would I rather be right than be happy?

If I win every argument at work and at home I am working and living with a bunch of losers.

North Point Community Church — See the world: Invite an Interruption


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2


Meaning of the Cross

Jesus interprets his own death.  He does this through is 3 cries on the cross.

The cross transforms everything.  The cross addresses EVERY major human problem.

Three major problems that humans face.

  1. First Cry – addresses the modern dilemma – The great problem of injustice and suffering
  2. Second Cry – human dilemma – we (individual) wants to do right but can’t
  3. Third Cry – Personal dilemma

First Cry – addresses the modern dilemma

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Deepest revelation of the passion of Jesus is this cry.   Originally Passion meant suffering.   Today (modern) passion means romance, love, calvin klein perfume.   Biblical passion means deep love always means deep suffering.  This statement shows us that Jesus experienced infinite suffering out of infinite love.   Here Jesus is saying “my soul is being plunged into absolute darkness”.

Neither hell nor heaven are in time.  They are spiritual conditions being in the presence of God or being trust away from God.   There is no such thing as being 3 hours in heave or hell.   Here Jesus is experiencing the sence of being eternally and utterly lost.  He was experiencing all the infinite sufferings of everyone who was cast out and away from God.

Father, God I want you, I love you and I obey you.

But WHY was he being forsaken?  This is a quote of Psalm 22.

  1. I am suffering infinitely.
  2. Thou God is damning me I am sticking to the plan. Thou God is damning me I am holding onto his word/knowledge.   Thou God is condemning me and casting me out, I am holding on.  Psalm 22 is saying – There is something God is doing.  there is something God is accomplishing.

What is God’s plan.  What is Jesus doing?   God is doing US, humans.  We are the passion of Jesus Christ in the full sense of the biblical term.  Jesus is suffering for the love of us.

Jesus was literally and truly in hells heart for the love of all Humans, and specifically me.

The cross means PASSION in the full biblical sense of the word passion where Jesus was willing to take infinite suffering out of infinite love of us and obey the plan of God in order to redeem us.  How does this change the way I look at the world?

Modern culture believes that the traditional God of religion has died because of the enourmous suffering and injustice of our century.  The traditional God of religion says “do good, be good, be moral and I will give you a good life”.  This God died because this God obviously does not exist.  This can be obvious when looking at just 3 people Hitler, Stalin and Mao who were responsable for the suffering and death of 200 million people. It is just obvious that the traditional God does not exist because out of the 200 million people there were obviously millions of good people who were “do good, be good, be moral” and under this logic, deserved a good life.

2000 years ago Jesus took the suffering of all people seriously.  The gospel considered the death of God because of the injustice of the world.

The injustice of the world means that God must die but he comes and does it volontarily out of love for us to bring us back to him.  God chooses to do this to end evil without ending us (humans).  Jesus bears the evil of the world and dies under it.  Humans killed God. We did.  And God saves us inspite of this. (23 min)

The modern world must have a God.  The modern world cannot live life without God because then we have no basis to object to injustice because there is no injustice.

Second Cry – human dilemma   Matthew 27:50  And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.  John 19:30  When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

In Matthew – the temple (many levels of boundaries between people and God – restricted access) – NO ACCESS to God.

When Jesus dies and the veil is ripped TOP to bottom.  1) Jesus is cast out so we can be brought in. 2) Jesus is barred from heaven so we can be welcomed.    “IT IS FINISHED”… what is finished?

  • restricted access is finished
  • all the sacrifices are finished – this is the sacrifice to end all sacrifice
  • all the attonement is finished

Jesus is saying the opposite of what Budah says.  Buda “strive without ceasing” Jesus says “don’t you dare keep striving, I did all the striving for you”.  Two completely different approaches.

On one hand we want to do good.  Then we get crushed and burned out. (29 min).  The cross gets us through this dilemma.  Jesus quoted scripture to the end.  The secret of Jesus integrity is scripture on Jesus mind.  (Scripture is the wisdom and knowledge of God.)  When you are in pain and under incredible stress and duress, our deepest reflexes just kick in and we AUTO respond almost uncontrollably.  We react uncontrollably out of what is in our heart.  Imagine you were thrown into hell – what would be your auto reaction?  Jesus was thrown into hell… what was his auto reaction?  Quoted scripture.

What Jesus is saying is as an example on the cross someone trusting scripture and trusting God.  As a substitute he is saying “OBEY because it is already finished.” NOT saying “obey in order to finish it”..

IM 31:00

HINT – people who work to hard, cannot say no to anybody, over committed all the time, need to please everybody all the time.   WHY?   “You are being Good, you are always doing what the bible says”  WHY are you sinking, WHY do you keep falling down, WHY are you always feeling guilty?  It is because you are TRYING to finish. You are trying to finish what God has already finished.  You are trying to make yourself worthy.  You are trying to make yourself acceptable for him.

You are not just trying to obey him out of LOVE for God.

The cross gives us the perfect example.  Jesus is saying YES obey.  But obey because it is finished.  Obey because it is finished.  Obey in the joy and relaxation that it is finished.   This solves the human dilemma that we want to do what is right but we cannot always do right.

Jesus Christ has already done everything to be right in the eyes of God.

Do I want to obey because it is finished?   Or do we try to obey in order that we finish it? (This will certainly burn me out because it is impossible.  This will grind you into the ground.)

“If on the cross our sins are finished that means our sins are over.  But why is there still an accounting for sin.”

Third Cry – Personal dilemma –  Salvation is by grace alone.  Often outsiders get it (truely understand it) better than insiders.  Matthew 27:54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son[a] of God!”

The point here is how easy it is to NOT get it.  To go through life trying to EARN our salvation.   The personal dilemma is that we want to DO something to be perfect but we are ALREADY perfect in the eyes of God BECAUSE of what Jesus did on the cross.

How well do I know the bible.  How well am I using the bible.  This is the son of God and he is perfect.  Every single time he has a crisis or anyone comes after him he responds with scripture.  If Jesus felt he needed it and saturate his heart with scripture.    or

Timothy J. Keller

2-01 The Final Hour 1.mp3








What is missing in our Society

Forum –  War Reporter Sebastian Junger (War Reporter Sebastian Junger Turns.mp3)

  1. Under hardships, in some ways people get extreamly happy because in order to survive they were forced to connect and that basic human need of connection was being fulfilled.
  2. Story of woman in Italy that was so lonely she returned to a war zone to be with the people she loved.   So a place where she was part of a community and her contribution (work) mattered.  She was needed by her people.
  3. The more affluent a society is, the more people can live independantly of others.   This means that the individual is no longer needed to contribute to the common good.   In a affluent society a collective is not needed for the society to survive.  (pool resources, pool efforts,)
  4. The one thing poverty has going for it is it forces people to form strong human connections.  Subburbs are the most lonely place in the world.  There is no need for people to seek the common good.
  5. As affluence increases in a modern society suicide rates go up.  As affluence rises in society suicide rates go up.   Modern society has x8 suicide rate than poor traditional societies.
  6. Contempt, derision, mockery – murder and destroy relationships.   Democracy is a relationship.
  7. Studies have shown a reduction in the depression of children when they are given meaningful things to do – like make dinner, chores, house work – they need to feel valuable and know they are contributing.
  8. Things were better when they were bad.  Bosnia
  9. After 9/11 suicide rates and murder rates went down.
  10. Ethos of serving public good dissapears in our affluent society.  Benjamin Franklin –  made an offer to Franklin to patent his design, but Franklin never patented any of his designs and inventions. He believed “that as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously”.

Modern society teaches focus on self for a better world…  Yet interestingly, suicide rates in modern society go up the richer the society gets…   Not surprising given the truth is the world does not revolve around us, we are not really number one, we cannot fully fulfill ourselves on our own and we do not need others.:

  • Look out for Number One. If you don’t, no one else will. Arnold Rothstein
  • “Believe in your potential even if you haven’t seen the results” Gaby Natale
  • Examine life, engage life with vengeance; always search for new pleasures and new destines to reach with your mind.
  • Worry only about the things that are in your control, the things that can be influenced and changed by your actions, not about the things that are beyond your capacity to direct or alter.
  • Experience True Pleasure. Avoid shallow and transient pleasures. Keep your life simple. Seek calming pleasures that contribute to peace of mind. True pleasure is disciplined and restrained.
  • Master Yourself. Resist any external force that might delimit thought and action; stop deceiving yourself, believing only what is personally useful and convenient; complete liberty necessitates a struggle within, a battle to subdue negative psychological and spiritual forces that preclude a healthy existence; self mastery requires ruthless cador.
  • I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.  Muhammad Ali

Team Success

Apply to:

  1. relationship with God
  2. Church
  3. Small Group
  4. Marriage
  5. Family (especially including kids)



  • Essential #1: Select performance-oriented people and position them for maximum impact
    • Recruit doers not thinkers – it’s much easier to educate a doer than it is to activate a thinker
      • Put people where they can make their greatest contributions—your organization will be at its best when team members are doing what they do best
    • Make sure team members have a crystal clear understanding of the interdependency between divisions, departments and team members ! associates feel interdependent?
      • Do they understand how what they do impacts what others do and vice versa?
      • Getting this one thing right will eliminate the majority of your staff bickering as well as your silos
  • Essential #2: Clarify the what and why
    • What and Why are the fuel for High Performance Teams—what problem needs to be solved, what task should be accomplished, or what opportunity should be leveraged?
    • What and Why creates a vision of how their world will improve because of the work they’re doing
    • Clarity around What and Why focuses energy and resources
    • Clarity around What and Why spotlights superfluous initiatives and activities
    • Clarity around What and Why lays the groundwork for organizational change


  1. Do you have a system in place to ensure each team member is positioned for maximum impact? If not, what are some practical steps you can take to move in this direction?
  2. What have you done recently to communicate the What and Why for your teams?


  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • The Performance Factor by Pat Macmillan


© 2016 Andy Stanley All rights reserved.

Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast Creating High-Performance Teams, Part 1 ReleasedJun 03, 2016  In this month’s podcast, Andy talks about how to create high-performance teams. Itunes.

01 Creating High-Performance Teams,.mp3